Duct Tape and Mission Salvation

A quick throwback to our weekly update from four years ago …

We watched Apollo 13 this weekend. Do Tom Hanks or Ron Howard movies ever get old? The movie is packed with drama and splashed down on the Hollywood red carpet with a wonderfully deserved nine Oscars, including Best Picture.

Maybe it’s my engineering heritage, but my favorite sequence comes with about three days left in their return voyage when the discover that the cabin is becoming progressively poisonous as carbon dioxide levels are climbing in the lunar module. In a real life MacGyver moment, a team of engineers in Houston scramble and put together an air scrubber using a pile of junk including packing materials and a variety of … well, garbage. But the star of the moment is duct tape. “Aquarius, you need about three feet, Jim.” “Just tear off a strip about as long as your arm.”

As Kevin Bacon fights to avoid passing out, the duct tape kicks in and the air purification is underway.

Sometimes our portfolios need a little duct tape. As roman candles flame out and cruise missiles reach their destination, there are times when plain old ordinary (in some cases, non-growth) companies can be provide a significant booster stage for our portfolios. Our Tin Cup model portfolio owes a great deal to Wolverine Worldwide and AutoZone back in 2000-2002 while the booster rocket debris was landing all around us.

Watch for our online discussion, “Roman Candles, Cruise Missiles & Ejector Seats” which we’ll encore during March … and I’m going back to applying a little more duct tape to our portfolios.

“Houston, we don’t have a problem so long as we have enough duct tape.”

One thought on “Duct Tape and Mission Salvation

  1. As difficult as market timing is (impossible?) it is even more so with investment styles (but 20/20 hindsight is very good). Manifest and BI school us in quality growth companies for the long term at acceptable prices, but one should at least be aware of the opportunities in aggressive growth, momentum, dividend (income), value, and turnaround situations for those times when the styles seem to have a tailwind. It adds another level of diversification. Do most what we know and works best for each individual, but don’t stop learning.

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